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Obtaining Applications & Common Application

Common application for college and universityNow that you have completed your college search and have your list of schools, it’s time to get the applications. The Internet and The Common Application have made it quick and easy to obtain college applications.

The Common Application is a not-for-profit organization that provides applications – online and in print – that students may submit to any of their ~400 member colleges and universities. The Common Application is available at

Many states (e.g. Texas, California, New York & Florida) have their own Common Application for Admission and Scholarships to in-state public institutions of higher education.

For schools not using with obtaining-applications-common-application, and for those schools who use The Common Application but require or allow supplemental materials, you will need to go to either the school’s web site or a hub site (such as Peterson’s) and either request or download your application materials.

Peterson’s offers many free tools — you can use their extensive database to research colleges (search by name, keyword, or more detailed criteria such as tuition, location, and major), request applications online, and download your college list to an excel spreadsheet. For some schools, you can click the Apply button (on the obtaining-applications-common-application site) and it will take you to either the application, the school’s Web site (where you can link to the school’s application) or the Common Application.

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